There are about 120 houses in the Christmas village at the Children's Discovery Museum. (Photo By Paul Morello/WJBC)
By Paul Morello
NORMAL - A factory that makes snow, sweets shops and Santa's own workshop have moved into the Children's Discovery Museum, as part of a miniature winter wonderland.
A group from the Normal Rotary Club is putting up the Christmas village, which includes about 120 houses and 400-500 accessory pieces.
"The first year, it was estimated that twenty to thirty thousand people saw the village, because it was in the window of the building, but it's become a big hit," Normal Rotarian John Morris said Monday.
The collection of Department 56 houses is owned entirely by Morris, who has been collecting the pieces since the early 1990's. They're all part of the "North Pole" series, ranging from about $50 to $100 per piece.
"There are probably nine to ten new additions per year, depending on the price and things like that," Morris said. "Of course, they can be displayed from all four points of the compass because they're a completely finished building all the way around."
The village has been an annual tradition for about six years, Morris said.
The village will be on display until the middle of January.
Paul Morello can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.